Wisdom of Hafiz: the Philosopher Takes to Racing
My son, if you go to the races to battle with Ikey and Mo,
Remember, it's seldom the pigeon can pick out the eye of the crow;
Remember, they live by the business; remember, my son, and go slow.
If ever an owner should tell you, "Back mine" -- don't you be such a flat.
He knows his own cunning no doubt -- does he know what the others are at?
Find out what he's frightened of most, and invest a few dollars on that.
Walk not in the track of the trainer, nor hang round the rails at his stall.
His wisdom belongs to his patron -- shall he give it to one and to all?
When the stable is served he may tell you -- and his words are like jewels let fall.
Run wide of the tipster, who whispers that Borak is sure to be first,
He tells the next mug that he meets with a tale with the placings reversed;
And, remember, of judges of racing, the jockey's the absolute worst.
When they lay three to one on the field, and the runners are twenty-and-two,
Take a pull at yourself; take a pull -- it's a mighty big field to get through.
Is the club handicapper a fool? If a fool is about, p'raps it's you!
Beware of the critic who tells you the handicap's absolute rot,
For this is chucked in, and that's hopeless, and somebody ought to be shot.
How is it he can't make a fortune himself when he knows such a lot?
From tipsters, and jockeys, and trials, and gallops, the glory has gone,
For this is the wisdom of Hafiz that sages have pondered upon,
"The very best tip in the world is to see the commission go on!"
Andrew Barton Paterson ('Banjo')